Volcom Pipe Pro
ASP 5-Star Men's event
Pipeline, North Shore Oahu
23 January - 4 February 2012
Florence edges out O'Brien with near-perfect heat score
Surfersvillage Global Surf News, 1 February, 2012 : - - Honolulu -- Hawaiis John John Florence created one of professional surfings most dramatic moments today to claim his second consecutive Volcom Pipe Pro title, completely flipping the table on former Pipe Pro champion Jamie OBrien (Hawaii) in the final seconds. OBrien had held the lead for 34 minutes and 45 seconds of the 35-minute final
and then it evaporated before his eyes.
OBrien had bolted away at the start of the heat with an apparently insurmountable lead and Florence wasnt even in the picture. OBriens top two scoring waves were near-perfect: 9.0 and 9.43 with all three of his challengers requiring a combination of high scores to beat him. Mauis Kai Barger had posed the biggest challenge with a 9.33, but a second wave eluded him. San Clementes Nate Yeomans was a distant third with 7.57 points total. Florences score line wasnt much better: 9.93 total.
Then at the five minute mark, two waves in the 8-10 foot range pushed through. Florence got the first: an unbelievable backside tube at Pipe that was deep, critical, and near-impossible. He blasted out with the spray and scored a perfect 10. Right behind him, OBrien swung, pulled in deep and blew out in front of Florences face for a 9.93 further extending his lead.
One minute to go
Florence paddled over and congratulated OBrien. Then a dark line on the horizon caught his eye. One last wave stacked up on the Pipeline reef. Fifteen seconds to go
Florence clawed his way past a frantic OBrien who could see the writing on the wall of the wave. Florence clawed his way past Jamie, over the ledge, under the lip and into the heat-winning tube ride a 9.93 to claim the $20,000 first prize.
John John Florence © Volcom / Bielmann | Slideshow
Less than eight weeks ago, Florence lost in similar fashion here to 11X world champion Kelly Slater during the Pipe Masters. Todays victory seemed to realign the trajectory of the 19-year-old, who appears at this moment in time to be destined for one of pro surfings greatest careers of all-time.
I wrote myself off half way through, said Florence. Kai and Jamie both had nines. I cant believe it. Here at Pipe anything can happen.
With 40 seconds to go I wasnt even thinking about it. I was like, yeah Jamie, congratulations, I won last year and Im stoked for you. Then I turned around and theres a peak. I didnt even know if he was going. I was going to go left and backdoor the peak, then I ended up having to fade, go right, and barely got under it. It was a wild ride.
Last year this gave me so much confidence going into the year. This is the first contest of the year and Ive got confidence again. So much has gone down in the last year, qualifying for the tour, changing my whole way of surfing and trying to get into the contest thing. Im so happy right now.
Final day action © Volcom / Bielmann | Slideshow
Back on the beach, OBrien and Florence shook hands and OBrien shook his head. Man, I feel like you just threw me out of the car before we got home, said OBrien. Im going to come and steal that trophy from you in the middle of the night, he laughed.
Nine years John Johns senior, OBrien has long been the man to beat at Pipe, having won at Pipe Masters, Backdoor Shootout, and multiple Volcom Pipe Pros. But Florence is quickly leveling the scores.
It hurts, said Jamie, holding onto the runner-up $10,000 check. You think youre going to win and you dont. Its OK. I got some really good scores and I felt I put on a great performance. To me that means everything. I had a great time. I finally got in a good rhythm my last couple of heats. I enjoyed myself and it was a good day.
OBrien appeared to toy with Pipeline today, switching up Backdoor and Pipe with regular foot and goofy foot barrels. But while he might have made it look easier than it was for everyone else, he was quick to admit things arent always as they may appear hence the credo that Pipeline is for warriors.
Bruce Irons © Volcom / Bielmann | Slideshow
It might look easy, but some of the stuff that happens to you underwater while youre getting pounded is really intense and scary. Getting caught inside out there, drags you and drags you, youve got to climb up your leash its a lot of work out there.
Third place in the final was Barger. Fourth was Yeomans. Worthy mentions include top Australian finisher Mitch Coleborn, and former Pipe champion Bruce Irons, who showed a fantastic return to form this week and lost out in the semis.
From todays results, the following surfers have won a spot in the first round of next Decembers Pipe Masters: OBrien, Barger, Billy Kemper (Maui), Flynn Novak (Oahu), Fred Patacchia (Oahu), Kalani Chapman, and Bruce Irons. Florence is an automatic starter at the Pipe Masters as he is on the elite ASP World Tour.
Also awarded today was the Todd Chesser Hard Charger Sportsmanship Award presented to Costa Ricas Carlos Munoz who posted a perfect 10 score in the early rounds and finished the event in equal ninth place. Next up for Volcom is their Volcom Fiji Pro, June 3-15 the fourth of 11 events that comprise the ASP World Tour.
A full two-hour highlight program of this weeks Volcom Pipe Pro will air on Fuel TV this Saturday at 7:30 PM ET/4:30 PM PT. For more information, check your local listings or go to fuel.tv.
Mitch Coleborn © Volcom / Bielmann | Slideshow
1st - John John Florence (HAW) 19.93pts, $20,000
2nd - Jamie OBrien (HAW) 19.40pts, $10,000
3rd - Kai Barger (HAW) 18.20pts, $6,500
4th - Nathan Yeomans (CA, USA) 7.57pts, $5,500
H1: Jamie OBrien (HAW) 17.77pts ; Kai Barger (HAW) 17.10pts ; Billy Kemper (HAW) 7.90pts ; Tanner Hendrickson (HAW) 5.10pts
H2: John John Florence (HAW) 13.56pts ; Nathan Yeomans (USA) 12.83pts ; Bruce Irons (HAW) 12.40pts ; Jonathan Gonzalez
H1: Billy Kemper (HAW) 12.00pts ; Jamie OBrien (HAW) 11.87pts ; Tim Reyes (USA) 9.10pts ; Gabe Kling (USA) 6.63pts
H2 : Kai Barger (HAW) 14.66pts ; Tanner Hendrickson (HAW) 14.50pts ; Flynn Novak (HAW) 10.83pts ; Fredrick Patacchia
H3 : Nathan Yeomans (USA) 13.27pts ; Jonathan Gonzalez (CNY) 12.50pts ; Carlos Munoz (CRI) 11.50pts ; Kalani Chapman
H4: John John Florence (HAW) 16.34pts ; Bruce Irons (HAW) 13.00pts ; Alexander Grey (USA) 8.40pts ; Mitchel Coleborn
Check the Full Results
# 1 : Check out the Volcom Pipe Pro surfers lineup
# 2 : Lay Day called for Volcom Pipe Pro, swell on way
# 3 : Despite predictions Volcom Pipe Pro calls Lei Day
# 4 : Surprise surge in surf shuts down Volcom Pipe Pro
# 5 : Long, hollow tubes set scores for Volcom Pipe Pro
# 6 : Macking surf makes Lei Day at Volcom Pipe Pro
Source: Ocean Promotion
Author: Jodi Wilmott
Tags: Volcom Pipe Pro, North Shore, ASP, John Florence, Jamie O'Brien
Star Contests: Surfersvillage